For the uninitiated, a staycation is a vacation where you stay at home, or at least travel domestically rather than crossing international borders. The term became popular during the financial crisis of the late 2000s when many people had less disposable cash to spend on expensive foreign holidays. It usually refers to holidaymakers staying in a rented house or apartment rather than a hotel.

With foreign travel currently limited by either government restrictions or the need to social distance, as lockdowns start to ease it’s time to embrace the staycation once again. Here are seven reasons why:

1. Our choices are limited

As we write, non-essential travel is very firmly curtailed around the world. While we all hope that the situation will improve and these restrictions will be lifted sooner rather than later, it’s likely that international travel will remain challenging for at least a year, if not longer. From bigger queues to get through airports to limited numbers allowed into big attractions, the entire experience will be different. An easier option will be to use private transport to travel domestically, once national governments allow it.

Family fishing with nets in a river
You can find adventures close to home ©Adie Bush/Cultura RF/Getty Images

2. We need something to look forward to

Prior to the COVID-19 emergency, many of us were lucky enough to consider travel as a necessity in life and not a luxury. While we have had to rapidly rethink travel, it’s still locked into our psyche that getting away from normal life and experiencing something new and different is a very positive if not essential thing to do. Booking a staycation will give us something to look forward to. Whether it’s going back to somewhere you love or exploring somewhere new, it just needs to be outside of those four walls of lockdown life.

3. Travel needs to be as stress free as possible

Life has been and continues to be pretty stressful so while we may want a change of scene it needs to be relatively straight-forward and easy to handle. A staycation in a private rental should allow you to keep to the guidelines whilst also having a break. Using private transport, finding a location with activities (such as walks) which are easy to do away from others, and staying in a private home all allow you to be socially distant whilst giving you a break from routine. With a bit of extra planning before you go, you can minimise trips to shops and arrive with a list of things you can do safely while in the area.

Two generation family walking in park
Uncover new spots for family fun without jostling for space ©Morsa Images/Getty Images

4. There will be fewer international tourists

While the reduction in the number of international tourists is not something to welcome from a fiscal point of view, it does mean that the big popular sites will have fewer visitors. As restrictions are slowly lifted around the world, there’s potentially a chance to experience unique and fascinating places without having to jostle for position. Sure, you might be in a socially-distant queue at times but fewer people around makes it easier to take it in and appreciate it. The whole experience will be slower and more meaningful, and the memories will last longer.

Read more: Forget Zoom: your collective travel experiences can help your family bond

5. We’re pretty good at seeing or doing less now

Any holiday over the next few months is probably going to involve less sight-seeing, fewer activities in close proximity to other people and less time in cafes, bars and restaurants than it might have previously. But that’s OK. We’re now seriously practiced at the art of staying at home rather than being out and about. These are transferable skills that we can take with us on holiday, where we can be stimulated by a new setting but still have fun at the slower pace of life we’re now used to. If your staycation is of the variety where you actually stay in your own house but behave like you are on holiday, imagine now the delight of being able to take a day trip to a local attraction you’ve always wanted to visit.

Happy woman sitting with friends and family at dining table in back yard during garden party
A staycation could offer you safe, quality time with loved ones ©Maskot/Getty Images

6. You can say hello to loved ones

If you have loved ones who are continuing to isolate, then a staycation could give you a chance to say a socially-distant hello in person. While this may not be as good as going to stay with grandparents or friends in the normal way, face-to-face contact is still important. And let’s be honest, maybe this is better than not seeing them at all? There’s the added bonus that going somewhere familiar to visit people you love but staying somewhere unfamiliar will open up new perspectives on a place you think you know well.

7. You can help the local economy

You might think it’s not really worth travelling at the moment if you can’t explore places in the normal way but if all the reasons we’ve listed so far don’t convince you maybe we can appeal to your altruistic self? Visiting another part of your country means you will contribute to the coppers of a different community. Think of all the small businesses that tourism supports and how badly they will have been affected. Social distancing may mean that you are contributing less than previously (you’ll be going to fewer cafes, using fewer activity centres, visiting fewer small museums or sites) but you can still give something and that must be better than doing nothing at all.

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